“Character is built in the course of your inner confrontation. Character is a set of dispositions, desires, and habits that are slowly engraved during the struggle against your own weakness. You become more disciplined, considerate, and loving through a thousand small acts of self-control, sharing, service, friendship, and refined enjoyment. If you make disciplined, caring choices, you are slowly engraving certain tendencies into your mind. You are making it more likely that you will desire the right things and execute the right actions. If you make selfish, cruel, or disorganised choices, then you are slowly turning this core thing inside yourself into something that is degraded, inconstant, or fragmented. You can do harm to this core thing with nothing more than ignoble thoughts, even if you are not harming anyone else. You can elevate this core thing with an act of restraint nobody sees. If you don’t develop a coherent character in this way, life will fall to pieces sooner or later. You will become a slave to passions. But if you behave with habitual self-discipline, you will become constant and dependable.”
– David Brooks
It sounds a lot like the white dog and the black dog doesn’t it?
Its these small daily choices that determines who we become in the end. Strong people who stand for something. Or weak people who fall for anything.
“The answer must be to stand against, at least in part, the prevailing winds of culture. The answer must be to join a counterculture. To live a decent life, to build up the soul, it’s probably necessary to declare that the forces that encourage the Big Me, while necessary and liberating in many ways, have gone too far. We are out of balance.”
– David Brooks
How to Build Character
“Your ability to discern your vocation depends on the condition of your eyes and ears, whether they are sensitive enough to understand the assignment your context is giving you.”
~ David Brooks
Unplug. Spend some time in silence. Listen deeply. Look closely.
I believe we all deep inside us, want to be heroes of our own lives. Strong, disciplined, noble & helping others.
From very young ages, we look up to these heroes. They save the world. They sacrifice their own interest for others and they are super cool.
Who wouldn’t want to be a super hero?
But perhaps the problem is that we don’t really believe we can become superheroes?
People of dignity, honour, noble actions, integrity.
“Superheroes have special powers and we don’t…”
That’s the conclusion isn’t it?
But what about the heroes of history? The Nelson Mandela’s, the Mother Theresa’s & the Malala’s?
Where did they get their superpowers from?
Let me suggest… that they got it from birth.
And we all got it from birth and it’s called: Choice.
A heroic life is nothing but a choice. To grow, learn, serve, make decisions that we hold to be truly noble.
Heroes are born every day.
It’s our nature.
But its not until we use the superpower of choice, that we can start to uncover our heroic nature as human beings.